Monday 22 July 2019

Clean water by year's end

Lough Talt treatment plant
Lough Talt treatment plant
Lough Talt

Irish Water met with community and public representatives on Friday to update them on the plans to upgrade the water treatment plant at Lough Talt.

Planning permission was granted for the essential works by Sligo County Council using the imperative reasons of overriding public interest (IROPI) process in May and Irish Water says works are now progressing to ensure a safe and secure supply of water will be delivered to the people on this scheme by the end of 2020.

The current Lough Talt water treatment plant does not provide adequate treatment for protection against cryptosporidium and needs to be upgraded. The water supply is included on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Remedial Action List (RAL), because the plant does not provide sufficient protection against cryptosporidium and trihalomethanes (THM).

Commenting on the upgrade works, Padraig Hanly, Irish Water's Regional Lead for Asset Delivery said: "Irish Water is committed to safeguarding the treated water supplied from the Lough Talt Regional Water Supply for the future and would like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience they are experiencing due to the current boil water notice.

"We are delighted that works on this essential upgrade can now begin and we are treating this upgrade as a matter of priority. We will work with our contractors to ensure the project is delivered on time and with due regard for all environmental and public health concerns. Public health is our number one priority and it is imperative that people adhere to the boil water notice which remains in place.

"We would like to once again thank the public for their continued cooperation and patience while we work to deliver this much-needed upgrade."

Irish Water will execute a works contract to complete the upgrade to the treatment plant in the coming weeks. The project will be completed by the end of 2020.

The long term solution will be the provision of water from an alternative source and this option is also being investigated by Irish Water in parallel to implementing the upgrade to the existing Water Treatment Plant.

Irish Water says the boil water notice remains in place. The present Lough Talt water treatment process does not provide adequate protection against cryptosporidium and the risk of further detections remains high without a validated barrier against cryptosporidium. This can result in severe illness if the public do not boil their water before consumption.

Approximately 13,000 people are affected including the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote and a large rural hinterland including the villages of Annagh, Aclare, Bellaghy, Curry, Lavagh, Ballanacarrow, Carrowneden, Kilmacteige and Coolaney. The boil water notice also includes consumers supplied by the Ogham Group Water Scheme and the following areas in Co Mayo: Cloontia, Doocastle and Quarryfield.

Sligo Champion